Grazing-incidence optical magnetic recording with super-resolution

Gunther Scheunert, Sidney R. Cohen, René Kullock, Ryan McCarron, Katya Rechev, Ifat Kaplan-Ashiri, Ora Bitton, Paul Dawson, Bert Hecht, Dan Oron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) is often considered the next major step in the storage industry: it is predicted to increase the storage capacity, the read/write speed and the data lifetime of future hard disk drives. However, despite more than a decade of development work, the reliability is still a prime concern. Featuring an inherently fragile surface-plasmon resonator as a highly localized heat source, as part of a near-field transducer (NFT), the current industry concepts still fail to deliver drives with sufficient lifetime. This study presents a method to aid conventional NFT-designs by additional grazing-incidence laser illumination, which may open an alternative route to high-durability HAMR. Magnetic switching is demonstrated on consumer-grade CoCrPt perpendicular magnetic recording media using a green and a near-infrared diode laser. Sub-500 nm magnetic features are written in the absence of a NFT in a moderate bias field of only μ0H = 0.3 T with individual laser pulses of 40 mW power and 50 ns duration with a laser spot size of 3 μm (short axis) at the sample surface - six times larger than the magnetic features. Herein, the presence of a nanoscopic object, i.e., the tip of an atomic force microscope in the focus of the laser at the sample surface, has no impact on the recorded magnetic features - thus suggesting full compatibility with NFT-HAMR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-37
Number of pages10
JournalBeilstein Journal of Nanotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Laser absorption
  • Laser heating
  • Thermally assisted magnetic recording

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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